How Loss of Hearing Can Cause Depression in Seniors

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How Loss of Hearing Can Cause Depression in Seniors

Depression is a huge factor in dealing with the ever-changing lifestyles of the elderly. Combine that problem with profound hearing loss and the ensuing isolation and new consequences occur.

The consequences may include profound lifestyle changes, refusal to participate in activities they used to enjoy and a number of other issues that add to the problem. Hearing loss can also cause emotional trauma in seniors and take them into a spiraling downturn.

If the hearing loss goes untreated, many areas of the senior’s life may be in emotional jeopardy including relationships with others such as children, grandchildren, friends and other family members.

Self-confidence can take a hit too. Seniors report that their feelings about themselves diminished as they suffered more consequences and isolation from the hearing loss problem. Emotional distress also occurred in seniors when others became irritable about having to speak louder or not being able to understand the speaker.

A hearing aid would help in most of these hearing loss cases, but many elders won’t wear one. They claim that their hearing isn’t bad enough or say that they’re too embarrassed to wear one because it’s a sign of old age.

Seniors in denial about their hearing loss is a common problem that can drastically affect the quality of their lives. They should be highly encouraged and even insistent by family members and their physicians to wear a properly fitted and designed hearing aid.

How Loss of Hearing Can Cause Depression in Seniors

Many times, when the senior becomes used to wearing the hearing aid the depression caused by hearing loss seems to magically lift after awhile and they enjoy the world of hearing. Men are much more likely to balk at the use of a hearing aid than women.

Those older adults who begin wearing hearing aids on a regular basis report improved relationships, more independence in getting around and going places and even in their sex lives. Families are thrilled at the results when the hard-of-hearing senior begins to improve after the use of a hearing aid. They report that it’s much easier to communicate – both ways.

Besides depression, untreated hearing loss in seniors could lead to a total downturn in physical well-being. Safety can become an issue and job performance and earning power could also lead to major problems in working seniors with hearing impairments.

Learn all you can, both online and from your health care professional about helping a senior with a hearing loss to recognize the importance of finding a solution to the hearing impairment.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Thanks for this article, material I would never have come across otherwise. I suppose another problem is the fact that seniors who are experiencing depression are also even less likely than normal to feel confident enough to seek the help of hearing aids. Really interesting, and an area where more compassion rather than frustration is needed. Big love X

  2. We found that hearing aids weren’t covered and of course they are extremely expensive. With my mom I think it made her paranoid, also depressed. It was very hard to deal with. So now if I’m around a spray booth for (printing) and the person no matter what age is blowing out a screen I give them ear protectors. Most people just don’t understand how important hearing affects their lives. They figure there’s hearing aids but it’s just not the same or close to the same.

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